Mark Townsend

  • A-Rod gives home run bat to young Red Sox fan who lost his father

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    As Chris Landers from MLB's Cut 4 tells us, the story actually goes back to last season, when David's father, Andy Moss, was diagnosed with cancer. Andy had hoped to bring his family to Fenway Park just one time so his young son could meet his hero, David Ortiz. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to see that dream come true, as he succumbed to his disease last September. 

    [Elsewhere: Would Dee Gordon have caught Jonathan Lucroy's no-hitter spoiler?]

    Knowing what it meant to his family, young David fought to keep the dream in honor of his father. That led to Friday night in Boston, where David Moss, his mother and sister were welcomed to Fenway Park to celebrate his eighth birthday.  

    Life. Made. https://t.co/fWYmfo7A6p pic.twitter.com/aeCKZSPosP

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  • The Walk Off: Mets ride historic 12-run inning to victory

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    The New York Mets offense remained red hot on Friday, scoring a team-record 12 runs in the third inning to help them securea 13-1 blowout victory against the San Francisco Giants.

    Not surprisingly, it was Yoenis Cespedes who led the historic charge. In the third inning alone, he collected six RBIs. That included a two-run single early in the frame, and it concluded with a 355-foot grand slam that may go down as his shortest home run of the season.  

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    When things are going well, those extra feet seem to go your way.  That would sum up how things are going for both Cespedes and the Mets right now.

    Check out some of these facts that come from Friday's win. 

    Yoenis Cespedes' 6 RBIs is franchise record for an ininng. Previously Butch Huskey with 5 RBIs in 6th inning on 5/26/98 at Florida.

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  • Would Dee Gordon have caught Jonathan Lucroy's no-hitter spoiler?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    Enter 26-year-old left-hander Adam Conley, who answered the call by nearly making history. 

    [Related: Bryce Harper doesn't want Dee Gordon's 2015 batting championship]

    Making only his 16th career start, Conley fired 7 2/3 innings of no-hit baseball in Miami's 6-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. The only thing that stood between him and a chance at history was his high pitch count. Manager Don Mattingly elected to pull Conley with 116 pitches, leaving it up to reliever Jose Urena to record the final four outs. 

    Ironically, it turns out the only thing that may have kept Urena from completing history was Dee Gordon's absence. With one out in the ninth inning, Jonathan Lucroy broke up the no-no with a soft pop up to short right field that just barely eluded the reach of new second baseman Derek Dietrich.

    Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Dee Gordon “probably” would have caught looping single by Jonathan Lucroy that ended no-hit bid in 9th.

  • Bryce Harper doesn't want Dee Gordon's 2015 batting championship

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    Speaking to the media before Friday's game in St. Louis, Harper expressed surprise and disappointment in Gordon, whom he also cited as one of the most exciting players to watch and play against.  

    [Passan: The sad case of Dee Gordon, another unlikely PED user for MLB

    Nothing out of the ordinary or too controversial there. The general consensus has been along those very same lines, so Harper just followed suit.   

    The media had another question on its mind though. They were curious whether Harper feels slighted now after losing last season's NL batting championship to Gordon by a mere three points. The obvious inclination being that the outcome may have been manipulated if Gordon had one or both banned drugs in his system at any point last season. 

    To that question, Harper responded by placing more blame on himself, essentially saying he did more to lose the batting crown than anyone else did to win it.   

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  • Diamondbacks offer entertaining response to uniform criticism

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    When the Arizona Diamondbacks unveiled new uniforms back in December, they did so acknowledging that they were being aggressive. According to team president and CEO Derrick Hall, they were aiming to create a style that had never been seen before, while finding a way to appeal to all segments of the fan base.

    “We always challenge ourselves to make sure that we are as pioneering and as innovating as any team in sports — we try to be,” Hall said at the time. “We looked at an opportunity when it comes to baseball to really advance the look of uniforms.

    [Elsewhere: Rapper Warren G totally butchered 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame']

    The effort was appreciated, but the response has been far less positive. In fact, in the opinion of many, the designs have been a big swing-and-miss. In particular, fans do not like the odd color combinations associated with their newest alternate road uniform. 

  • Dustin Pedroia makes Braves pay for embarrassing defensive blunder

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    On a night where they had two legitimate reasons to celebrate — Freddie Freeman's drought-ending home run and A.J. Pierzynski's 2,000th career hit — they still managed to lose in convincing fashion. In fact, they weren't even competitive, dropping Wednesday's game 9-4 to the Boston Red Sox to fall to a league-worst 4-17 on the season. 

    [Related: Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends]

    As always, the numbers help tell story. The Braves four wins are the lowest in baseball. Their four team home runs are the lowest in baseball. Their 18 errors are the second most in baseball. However, the numbers don't always tell the whole story either. Sometimes you have to watch the games to get a full understanding of what's going on, and one play during Wednesday's game really captured what the Braves are going through. 

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  • The Walk Off: White Sox complete impressive sweep of Blue Jays

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Some people thought the Chicago White Sox would meet their match this week against the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, they remained the American League's hottest team and perhaps proved they're here to stay.

    With Wednesday's 4-0 win at Rogers Centre, the White Sox extended their winning streak to six games overall and completed a three-game sweep that showed impressive resilience and versatility.

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    Coming into the season it was difficult to identify what exactly this White Sox team would be. So far anyway, they've looked like one of the more well-rounded teams in either league, which is further evidenced by their AL-best 16-6 record. They're doing a lot of the little things well, like identifying where their openings are, and then they're executing.

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  • Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    In the eighth inning of Wednesday's 9-4 loss against the Boston Red Sox, first baseman Freddie Freeman hit a home run off left-hander Tommy Layne to end their  15-game homerless streak. 

    [Elsewhere: Adam LaRoche wants you to celebrate take your child to work day]

    As you can tell from the call of Braves broadcaster Chip Caray, he was pretty excited. Excited enough that he broke out his grandpa Harry Caray's famous "It might be, It could be, it is" home run call, even adding a "Holy Cow" for added emphasis and perhaps meaning. 

    Caray had reason to be excited too. The home run was the first hit by a Brave since April 10 at Turner Field, which was Atlanta's fifth game of the season. On that afternoon, Drew Stubbs delivered a three-run homer against St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. The Braves only hit two home runs prior to that, when Freeman and Adonis Garcia each homered against Washington's Max Scherzer.

    So yes, the drought was somehow worse than you imagined. 

  • Steven Souza Jr. repeats history with incredible diving catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

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    In the fourth inning, Souza took to the air to rob Baltimore's Chris Davis of sure extra bases. The play left Davis stunned and had Rays' Matt Moore looking on with a mix of shock and appreciation.

    We assure you Moore is saying "thank you" under that glove.    

    Yes, @SouzaJr really did do that. pic.twitter.com/XuAtwIwozj

    Souza's incredible catch was eerily similar to another diving catch he made while playing left field for the Washington Nationals. 

    This is kind of @SouzaJr’s thing. https://t.co/L18mNLkEw7 pic.twitter.com/BfCx7yZs8g

    Also worth noting, Souza's catch happened in roughly the same area at Tropicana Field where Kevin Pillar made this sensational diving catch last season. 

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  • Curt Schilling says ESPN is biased against political conservatives

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    One week after being fired from ESPN after commenting on and promoting a controversial anti-transgender meme on his Facebook page, Curt Schilling is firing back at his former employers. 

    In a one-hour guest appearance on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Breitbart News Patriot Forum,” the former pitcher-turned-analyst flatly accused the sports network of being biased against political conservatives and having inconsistent standards when it comes to reprimanding on-air talent. 

    [Related: Raúl Ibañez to replace Curt Schilling on ESPN's Baseball Tonight]

    According to Newsday, Schilling's commentary was recorded on Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to air at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Here's just a sampling of what he had to say.